UPDATE: It seems as though EA and the NCAA have finally settled their court case involving EA failing to pay profits for college football athletes featured in their college football video games. The lawsuit, which dates back to 2009, has been settled in favor of the NCAA and its young athletes.
“I can say that we are extraordinarily pleased with this settlement, whose terms we will be proud to present to the court and to the public,” Hagens Berman managing partner Steve Berman said in a statement. “When we began this case in 2009, we were venturing into a new application of the law, with little precedent, while facing monumental legal hurdles.”
“When we filed the case, we felt very strongly that EA’s appropriation of student-athletes’ images for a for-profit venture was wrong, both in a legal sense and from a more fundamental moral perspective,” Berman added. “These guys were busting their butts on the field or the court trying to excel at athletics, oftentimes to help win or maintain scholarships so they could get an education.”
“Students agreed that by being student-athletes that they could not exploit their personal commercial value, an agreement they lived up to. “The same cannot be said about the NCAA or its partner Electronic Arts.”
This sadly does not change the decision made by EA to cancel their NCAA football game series. EA are currently evaluating other options, but it is likely you won’t see a football video game from EA for a long time.
ORIGINAL STORY: In a blog post on EA’s official site, EA Sports GM of American football Cam Weber has posted a statement confirming the cancellation of next year’s EA NCAA football video game. Cam Weber writes, “today I am sad to announce that we will not be publishing a new college football game next year, and we are evaluating our plan for the future of the franchise. This is as profoundly disappointing to the people who make this game as I expect it will be for the millions who enjoy playing it each year.”
“We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football,” Weber explained. “Just like companies that broadcast college games and those that provide equipment and apparel, we follow rules that are set by the NCAA – but those rules are being challenged by some student-athletes.”
“For our part, we are working to settle the lawsuits with the student-athletes,” he continued. “Meanwhile, the NCAA and a number of conferences have withdrawn their support of our game. The ongoing legal issues combined with increased questions surrounding schools and conferences have left us in a difficult position – one that challenges our ability to deliver an authentic sports experience, which is the very foundation of EA Sports games.”
Weber continued on adding that, “college football has always been a labor of love, and it is unfortunate that these business and legal issues have impacted our ability to make next year’s game. This franchise has been developed by a team that is deeply committed to the tradition and culture of this sport – that’s why fans have always loved it. We are working to retain the talented people who are part of the team by placing them elsewhere within the EA SPORTS organization.”
“In the meantime, we will continue to be connected and engaged with our fans who are playing EA Sports NCAA Football,” he concluded. “Our decision does not affect our commitment to NCAA Football 14 and the consumers who love playing the game.”
The NCAA had announced, back in July, that it will not be renewing its contract with EA. NCAA Football 14, released back in July, led July US sales charts. It now seems as though the long running series is officially done, with a long era sadly coming to an end. EA had been developing NCAA video games for over a decade now.
With this announcement many fans have brought up the prospect of a 2K college football game to be released next year instead, but this financial lawsuit is indicative of the NCAA’s disagreements with the entirety of the video game industry. So you won’t be seeing a licensed college football game for a while.